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Citizen Soldiers: The U.S. Army from the Normandy Beaches to the Bulge to the Surrender of Germany | [Stephen E. Ambrose]

Citizen Soldiers: The U.S. Army from the Normandy Beaches to the Bulge to the Surrender of Germany

A masterful biography of the U.S. Army in the European Theater of Operations during World War II, Citizen Soldiers provides a compelling account of the extraordinary stories of ordinary men in their fight for democracy. From the high command on down to the enlisted men, Stephen E. Ambrose draws on hundreds of interviews and oral histories from men on both sides who were there.
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Publisher's Summary

Citizen Soldiers opens on June 7, 1944, on the Normandy beaches, and ends on May 7, 1945. From the high command on down to the enlisted men, Stephen E. Ambrose draws on hundreds of interviews and oral histories from men on both sides who were there. He recreates the experiences of the individuals who fought the battles, the women who served, and the Germans who fought against us.

Ambrose reveals the learning process of a great army: how to cross rivers, how to fight in snow or hedgerows, how to fight in cities, how to coordinate air and ground campaigns, how to fight in winter and on the defensive, how citizens become soldiers in the best army in the world.

A masterful biography of the U.S. Army in the European Theater of Operations, Citizen Soldiers provides a compelling account of the extraordinary stories of ordinary men in their fight for democracy.

©1997 Stephen E. Ambrose (P)2011 Simon & Schuster

What the Critics Say

"Citizen Soldiers [is] a high point in Ambrose's long fascination with the nature of leaders and followers. (John Lehman, The Wall Street Journal)

"History boldly told and elegantly written.... Gripping." (Kyle Smith, People)

"Ambrose proves once again he is a masterful historian.... Spellbinding.... The book captures the bizarre contradictions, random kindness and unexpectedly comic moments of the push to Berlin as memorably as a great war novel." (John Omicinski, Detroit Free Press)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.6 (141 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Jeremy Easton, Pa, United States 06-30-11
    Jeremy Easton, Pa, United States 06-30-11

    Husband, Father, attorney, veteran, libertarian.

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    "Required reading, excellent narration"

    This book conveys the tragedy of war for all. As a combat vet of Iraq I feel that my tour was a walk in the park compared to WWII. All citizens should read this book to help them understand the price that was paid to defeat the nazis.

    The narrator also does an excellent job, his various accents help the flow of the book and his delivery, tempo, and tone were perfect.

    8 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Justin casper, WY, USA 04-20-13
    Justin casper, WY, USA 04-20-13 Member Since 2006

    Being a heavy equipment operator with long night shifts, good books are essential to me.

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    "Just a great book"

    I cannot add anything new to all the great reviews. Don't hesitate use a credit and you will be rewarded.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John St Albans, Australia 03-12-13
    John St Albans, Australia 03-12-13 Member Since 2011

    I enjoy books about history and adventure.

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    "Awesome listen. Great narration."
    Where does Citizen Soldiers rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Among the top five.I usually listen to books at set times of the day, on my way to work, home, travelling that sort of thing. I wanted to listen to this all the time.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The story from both sides. Not a biased, or opinionated book. Well researched. Great stories and little pieces of history.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    It's too difficult to pick a favourite scene, the whole book is riveting.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Definitely and It was one of those books that I didn't want to end.


    Any additional comments?

    I read an article recently about some infamous singer who said, 'men are animals who enjoy killing each other'. Obviously he hasn't read this book. There are stories of some brutality to be sure, but what shines through is the ability of people (citizen soldiers) to address the situations with some compassion and a healthy dose of reality. Men and some women are thrust into war like it or not, It's how they handle the situation that matters.This book addresses those issues and some. The hardships, the suffering and the humanity of it all. I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in WW2, or just how folk behave given an exceptional set of circumstances.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    R. Townsend eastern NC 01-31-13
    R. Townsend eastern NC 01-31-13 Member Since 2012

    bunky1998

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    "Unique Perspective of WWII"

    Ambrose is an excellent writer, and this book is no exception. Thoroughly researched from both sides of the war in Europe, but unique in that the primary focus is from the perspective of the front-line troops. I found the interviews with the former German soldiers to be very insightful. It isn't often we hear reflections on WWII from those who were our enemies.

    Some funny stories, some heartbreaking ones (how could we ever understand the hell that was the frontline in the winter of 1944?) and overall a very good listen.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    TW Ervin II Ohio, USA 04-06-14
    TW Ervin II Ohio, USA 04-06-14 Member Since 2012
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    "History brought to life via soldier stories"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes, especially if they had an interest in WW II.


    What does George Wilson bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    His voice varied enough to make the soldiers being discussed or 'talking/telling their story' stand apart.


    Any additional comments?

    Well worth the listen. Although I suspect each listener will come away with specific remembered parts, overall the gritty nature of war and the struggles faced by soldiers on both sides is well portrayed.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    William Monroe, GA, United States 08-06-13
    William Monroe, GA, United States 08-06-13 Member Since 2012
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    "The title says it all"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Ambrose, as usual, takes us into the foxholes with the GI. His treatment of the Generals, prima donnas all, makes us wonder how we won.


    What did you like best about this story?

    He made you feel like you were there


    Which character – as performed by George Wilson – was your favorite?

    any of the actual GI's


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    both but mostly cry, The horrors our soldiers endured


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Aimee United States 05-15-13
    Aimee United States 05-15-13 Member Since 2012
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    "I Read it Before and Hearing it is Even Better"
    Would you listen to Citizen Soldiers again? Why?

    This is a great telling of WWII from the soldiers perspective. I read it some years ago and hearing it again I learned some new things I had forgotten. Stephen Ambrose has a way of telling a story that bring the words of history to life.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    His story telling keeps the listener listening. It's like watching a movie in your head.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    I wish I could listen to this in one sitting.


    Any additional comments?

    Listening to this makes me proud to be an American. Proud of our history and thankful of our past. Some may say our current generation couldn't do the same. Many have said the same of previous generations before. Gertrude Stein called the WWII generation, "The lost generation".

    I'm sure history will repeat itself if the current generation is ever called on to defend freedom on a massive scale. It will succeed and we will prevail.

    What a great book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    will nerang, Australia 05-06-13
    will nerang, Australia 05-06-13
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    "Can no one beat Ambrose in the World War 2 written"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes.. Griping and believable


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Citizen Soldiers?

    You can imagine you are on the Normandy beaches.. the noise and carnage and fear of failure


    Have you listened to any of George Wilson’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    I like his light and shade.. makes for a more interesting listen


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    the book in general moved me


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cory Amarillo, TX, United States 04-15-13
    Cory Amarillo, TX, United States 04-15-13 Member Since 2006

    I spend about 55 hours a week driving and really enjoy having a good book to pass the miles.

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    "Unbelievable heroism."

    This is the second book from Mr. Ambrose that I have read and it was as good as the first. I read Band of Brothers after watching the HBO mini-series and enjoyed it. Citizen Soldiers is another excellent read. It covers everything in the ETO from Normandy to Berlin. You'll learn things about the major players that you may not have known. I was drawn in from the start and it kept me interested to the end. It is heartbreaking to know how many men's lives were wasted through poor planning and execution of orders that were unnecessary. And how one generals decision cost the men countless unnecessary cases of frostbite and trench foot through lack of proper equipment. If you enjoyed Band of Brothers you will also enjoy Citizen Soldiers. I just purchased Wild Blue by Mr. Ambrose and I expect it will be as good as this book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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